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Mobile device security questions

The security of mobile devices is receiving an increasing level of attention and many security vendors are now offering a Mobile Device Management solution. What seems to be leading the market is a secured container approach, which although providing a high level of security could potentially be flawed because it does not take into account what is driving users to buy smartphones and tablets.

A container approach is a very secured one with a strong legal aspect, however, the same way the consumerisation of devices is driving unapproved devices in companies today, there is a risk that users want a full consumer experience where different users will have different preferred apps to do a similar task. A container approach does not provide this full consumer experience and locks the user to the functionalities the secured container apps provides.
Therefore a secured container approach may be flawed through another layer of consumerisation, the apps consumerisation where users decide to handle corporate data outside the secure container provided by their company.

The same arguments then apply from a physical consumer driven chaos to a software consumer driven one. If you then prevent users from using their preferred apps you are missing not only the reasons why they bought their devices in the first place but also the power driven by their first hand experience of the technology at home.This almost sounds like an infinite loop of consumerisation ;)

The answer is in the protection of the corporate data itself rather than a container, but such solution is not available today unless you consider Information Right Management, which is still very immature.

To conclude, a container approach is arguably the most secure, easy to deploy and mature today. Therefore, yes, you should consider implementing such solution now but I do not see it as having a long term future with the consumer model flogging through corporate IT environments.

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